Check Out: New Tubeless Valves, Angle Headsets, Flat Pedal Shoes, & Fancy Pants

Nov 15, 2021
by Mike Kazimer  



A lot of gear comes across our desks here at Pinkbike. Check Out is an occasional round up of everything our tech editors have gotten their hands on. Sometimes it's products we're doing long-term tests on, other times it's stuff we're stoked on but don't have time to fully review. And, sometimes it's crazy shit someone sent us unsolicited and we're having a laugh.



9Point8 Slack-R Kit




Features

• Changes head angle by 1.2 - 1.7 degrees depending on bike
• $99 USD
• Compatible with most tapered IS headsets
9point8.ca




bigquotes9Point8's Slack-R kit allows riders with tapered IS headsets (the type where the bearings sit directly in the frame) to hop on the slacker head angle train. Exactly how much the head angle will be reduced by depends on the frame dimensions, but the final amount will be between 1.2 - 1.7 degrees. It's also possible to install the cups in the reverse orientation, for riders looking to steepen up their head angle instead.

The Slack-R is now available for most IS headset dimension, including a recently added IS42 / IS52 option that's compatible with bikes from Orbea, Norco, GT, Scott, and others.

Installation is straightforward, and the driver needed to tighten the whole assembly down is included with the kit. Loctite and plenty of carbon fiber paste are key ingredients to help make sure things don't shift during installation, or creak out on the trail. Having a buddy to help hold the cups in place while they're being tightened down to 30Nm is also handy - otherwise it's a little tricky to keep everything perfectly aligned. You'll also need to measure your steerer tube to make sure it's long enough to accommodate the extra 20mm of space the Slack-R takes up.

$99 is a whole lot less than the price of a new bike, and a little head angle alteration may be the ticket to giving an older bike a new lease on life. 




Giro Latch Shoes




Features

• Mute Foam injection molded midsole
• Tack Rubber outsole
• Rockprint reinforced toe
• 3D molded footbed
• Unisex last
• Wide stretch laces with lace keeper
• Men's sizes 39-50 / Women's sizes 36-43
• $150 USD
giro.com




bigquotesAccording to Giro, their new Latch shoes were developed to meet the requests of their athletes, who said they were getting bounced off their pedals on rough trails. Funny enough, that's exactly what I said when I reviewed the Riddance shoes a few years ago. The good news is that the Latch shoes seem sticky enough to keep both me and Aggy happy.

I only have a few rides in on them so far, which means it's much too early to comment on durability, but so far the fit has been very comfortable, and the stickiness is now in the realm of Five Ten and Specialized. That increased grip is thanks to a new rubber compound, and a tread design that has enough depth and space between the lugs to allow pedal pins to sit in between them. Giro also added a slow rebounding foam to the midsole that's intended to reduce the amount of vibrations that make it through the shoe.




Reserve Fillmore Tubeless Valves

The Fillmore tubeless valve's design is elegant in its simplicity.

Partially unthreading the aluminum cap makes it possible to let out small amounts of air at a time.
A wrench and a 2.5mm allen key are all that are needed for disassembly, but since the whole point of the design is to eliminate clogging that'll hopefully rarely be necessary.


Features

• Fits rim depths between 18mm - 28mm
• Lifetime warranty
• Price: $49.99 USD
• 7000 series aluminum combined with a stainless steel internal rod
• 3X airflow of standard presta valve
• More info: reservewheels.com




bigquotesI've been running Reserve's Fillmore valves for the last month, and as hard as that price tag is to swallow, they do work really, really well. The additional airflow when mounting a tire is noticeable, making it even easier to get everything up and running. Plus, if you're using a pump with a screw-on head, this design means that the valve core won't come unthreaded when you remove the pump, something that Lezyne pump owners will be glad to learn.

Yes, $50 is a lot of money for two tubeless valves, even ones made from 7000 series aluminum and a stainless steel inner rod. On the other hand, not needing to deal with gunked up, clogged valves is nice, and the additional airflow that the Fillmore valves allow does make seating tires even easier. In addition, these valves come with a lifetime warranty. It's also really easy to disassemble them should the need arise - there are wrench flats on the portion of the valve that sits in the rim, and a 2.5mm hex head on top of the internal rod that's used to unthread it..

Overall, the Fillmore valves are a clever solution to a problem most riders probably never thought about for all that long. I never really considered which valves were my favorites, up until now - that spot is currently occupied by the Fillmore.






Rapha Trail Pants




Features

• Double weave nylon / elastane with DWR treatment
• Rapha Repair Kit included
• Sizes: XS - XXL
• Colors: Purple, black, green
• $180 USD
rapha.cc





bigquotesWhen I heard the news that Rapha was entering the mountain bike world I wasn’t sure what to expect. $300 skin-tight jerseys? Or maybe some fancy kneewarmers? It turns out that Rapha’s designers did their homework, and while the prices are still on the higher end of things they aren't wildly out of line compared to similar options. Plus, the fit and quality of the pieces I’ve tested has been excellent. Rapha also offers free repairs for the lifetime of a garment, and many of the items come with a repair kits to help reduce any potential down time.

According to Rapha, the new Trail Pants are intended for “all-round trail riding in cool conditions." The fit of the size medium has been excellent for my relatively slim, 5’11” height – they taper where they need to without being overly form-fitting, and there’s enough room to accommodate knee pads. There’s a zippered pocket on the side of each leg, both with enough room for a phone, along with additional two hand pockets. The fit can be fine-tuned via a cam strap on each side of the waist, and a keyhole metal snap helps ensure they won’t pop open at an inopportune time.

I’ve worn the Trail Pants on around a dozen rides, most of them wet and muddy, and so far they aren’t showing any signs of premature wear. On those drizzly, misty days the Trail Pants do a good job of keeping the occasional puddle splash or light rain from soaking through. For the fall temperatures I’ve been wearing them in the slightly thicker fabric has been ideal, just keep in mind that they run warmer than a thinner, DH-race style pant. 






114 Comments

  • 116 0
 At least the Ralpha Trail pants aren't $550 like the POC ones...
  • 167 0
 you know your pricing model is messed up when Rapha looks like a wallet-friendly alternative
  • 11 14
 Ya, I guess if you constantly have the issues they describe, it might be worth it. But I seem to be able to seat my tires just fine with regular valves. Stubborn ones work just fine with the valve removed and for the off super stubborn tire (rare these days), I have one of those bottles which always works)

I also never had a valve get clogged with sealant... maybe it's the sealant I use (Stans Race)?
  • 9 1
 @islandforlife: I use the same sealant and I get clogged valves pretty consistently. I am in Washington and my bikes are stored in a very cold garage.
  • 18 8
 @islandforlife:

I just replaced my old tubeless valves with the Fillmores. Yes, they're expensive, but what an incredible improvement. It's just BANG, and you're done.

I'm going to coin a new term - "Instaflation" - defined as: the immediate inflation and seating of tubeless tires to your favourite rims.

Amazing product, goodbye crappy old stems with valve cores, Hello Fillmore!
  • 27 1
 Not to be sticking up for POC or anything but you're really comparing apples to oranges. The POC are full three layer waterproof membrane based the the Rapha are DWR coated nylon. Not even close to the same ballpark.
  • 13 0
 @Trudeez: That, and the Rapha look like something you could wear in a sport that's not fishing.
  • 4 1
 @islandforlife: I have to replace my cores every couple months as they clog, using std Stans, i would rather that than using something like Mucoff that doesnt seal worth a damn, just like their tape.
  • 2 0
 To be somewhat fair, they were overalls. I'd save judgement until rapha makes overalls. Would probably buy a pair under 300
  • 42 0
 @Trudeez: "you're really comparing apples to oranges." Thanks for clarifying. For a moment I thought we were comparing riding trousers to tubeless valves.
  • 2 0
 yeah, but do the POC ones wrinkle like these?
  • 2 0
 @commental: Hmmm...those tubeless valves might be sparkly enough for fishing. Too bad you can't take the core out to attach a hook.
  • 1 0
 @kokofosho: Are you not closing your valves all the way? The only time I get issues with clogging is when I've bent the threaded end and it won't seal right and so it's constantly pushing sealant up through the valve. But just pull the core and swap it for new for .50 cents and TADA...
  • 2 1
 @advocate: Name checks. Could be better though. "Shill"???
  • 1 0
 At least these aren't limited edition pajama pants
  • 4 0
 @islandforlife: I’ve had a couple of clogged valves over the years but I can easily replace many valves before the price tag of these makes sense. Maybe I’m missing something… I seat my tires dry, take the valve cores out, inject the sealant, put the cores back in and fill up the tires.
  • 3 0
 @rbarbier12: especially when the Wrangler utility "stretchy" pants at walmart are just as comfortable and useful at $21
  • 1 0
 @Trudeez: yeah, the Rapahs seem more like the POC Rhythm Resistance pants with DWR treatment. Then the prices are virtually identical. I’ve got a pair of POC Ultra shorts and a pair of their DH pants and they have been really hard wearing and awesome.
  • 5 0
 @stiingya: You can unclog a valve as well. You just gotta remove the valve, then peel off all the dried up sealant off of it, then re-install the valve and it usually fixes it.
  • 3 0
 @advocate: just as things were with good old schrader Smile
  • 2 0
 @advocate:

"I once told a women I coined the term...Pardon my French" GC
  • 1 0
 @islandforlife: How much more airflow can you get than a regular presta with the core removed?
I guess the could work with inserts that require a special valve like cushcore do, anyone have experience with these and cushcore?
  • 30 0
 $50 tubeless valves...very cool
  • 21 5
 I looked at the valves close when Santa Cruz sent me the email tried to sell me on a set. Then I saw you have to take the cap off to fill it with air. And then put it back on. That was sort of a deal killer. the design looks really cool, but once you add a cap that you can lose and the cost, the current presto valves work great and that $50 is more than the cost of a good bourbon.
  • 18 6
 Park Tools just had a tutorial on how to convert to Schrader valves from Presta. Reserve Wheels was all over the comments section when people where pointing out the cost difference between Presta and Fillmore but were strangely silent when asked if it would just be better/cheaper to make their rims Schrader compatible.
  • 36 7
 As long as you have alloy rims, going Schrader is the way. An 11/32 drill bit and Stan's Schrader valves will eliminate 99% of inflation-related headaches. No more cores getting gunked up, way easier to seat tires, can actually seat tires at the gas station...Presta was created because roadies back in the day had rims that were too narrow for Schrader valves. It's high time we kicked it back to the road.
  • 15 3
 @mnorris122: Agree 100%. Let's all just go back to Schrader Valves!
  • 7 1
 @mnorris122: presta and schrader valves BOTH clog with sealant… just google clogged schrader valve.
  • 2 0
 @CycleKrieg: you know that guy on instagram that makes those videos showing how people are TAF because theres usually a really simple solution

You just became that guy in the pinkbike comments section
  • 1 0
 @jkwilliamz: Why stop there? How much sealant could we get through a woods valve?
  • 3 1
 Yep. Anyone who goes wheeling knows that Schrader valves have cores, too. That first time you air down with a device that unscrews the core to let the air out fast and it sticks inside the device or falls out and your truck's tire goes flat in a matter of seconds while you try to understand what just happened.....
  • 3 0
 @CycleKrieg: precisely!
  • 3 0
 @Stinky-Dee: A good Bourbon is only for a little will but the Fillys are fore life. The valves also work without the cap using the same principle that keep your tire bead seated to your rim (air pressure). The cap just gives that extra bit of protection plus a cool attentional air release feature.
  • 28 0
 Pants are for the office. I'm holding out for some goretex daisy dukes.
  • 16 0
 The color way on those new Freerider Pro’s look great, good job Giro.
  • 5 0
 If only they had the same rubber I'd be all over them.
  • 10 0
 $500 pants and $50 valves, wow, clearly I'm in the wrong profession.

PB by Outside Magazine: Gifts for your favorite orthodontist
  • 6 0
 I must say the two side pockets look sweet, why cant more of shorts and whatever be like that? I dont need my phone or other heavy bigger stuff on my legs. the side is where it belongs. It also looks like you can open it with one hand because of the placement. nice! I still wont buy skinny pants Big Grin , shorts 4 ever!
  • 3 0
 Patagonia Landfarer shorts do this too, and they're on sale right now.
  • 5 5
 Might want to check out our 7mesh collection including our Glidepath Pant - we launched this exact pocket configuration and waist adjustment in 2015, and it’s been on most of our shorts and pants since then. A case of ‘convergent evolution’ I guess? …little disappointing from our perspective.
  • 1 0
 Leatt DBX 3.0 Enduro pants have 2 actual cargo pockets plus 2 hip pockets and rear phone pocket.
  • 2 0
 @tj7mesh: will do, thanks and your right I had pants pack then who also had this kind of stuff but they have vanished in thin air.

@honourablegeorge thanks man I will check that out.
  • 2 1
 @tj7mesh: the good news is your a mtb brand. And Rapha is "hip roadie".
  • 2 0
 @J26z: I have had a Leatt DBX 5.0 actually last year and the jacket. Both looked superior to anything if we talk about style by far but they did not last very long, the first parts get disintegrated (really no shit here) in less then a month. It looks very similar to it the DBX 3.0 and those kind of pockets are not really comparable to the rapha , 7mesh or Patagonia.

To bad both brands have to short shorts, I prefer my shorts to cover my knees entirely. Even when I lift my leg the sorts should not expose my knees in this positions. Meaning when your pedaling the short always stays below the knee.

Currently running an out of date Norrøna fjørå light weight and this was the first short who is long, stays on my hips and not slide up or down, nor do I need to strangle my hips for that. It has other features that make it unique like a crap ton of storage and the longest , widest mesh vent ever behind a zipper. Super light and super sturdy.


I would really kill someone for a short wo actually could combine everything.
  • 11 1
 Don’t mind me - I’m just here to read the various complaints.
  • 6 0
 Put a 150 mm fork along with a 1.2 Slackr on my first-generation hightower. I have had exactly 0 problems installing it and 0 problems over 2 months of hard use. 9point8 is very good explaining what will happen to your bikes geometry as a result of doing this. Essentially what you do is add 10 mm on either side of your head tube along with the Angle adjustment. This actually helps keep the effective reach neutral. There is quite a nasty debate about this on another review - but just read the manufacturer supplied propaganda. Highly recommend the product. It is basically saving me from buying the latest generation hightower - if I could get it - after financing was approved.
  • 1 0
 Interesting. I've slackerised my V1 Scout, love it. Does this mean bikes with ZS headsets can be modified now? I'm thinking about carbon Santa Cruz or Pivot frames.
  • 1 0
 You bet. Go to the website @fielonator:
  • 1 0
 Reach shortens, bottom bracket rises, seat tube steepens. I've just put in a angelset made by Works. 1.5 degrees. I really feel like I need a longer stem and potentially lower my bars via headtube spacers.
  • 1 0
 @skiboot1: Look the 9point8 up -it is both. It lengthens your headtube and slackens at the same tine - the only way you can do it with internal bearings.
  • 1 0
 @skiboot1: you got to increase fork travel a bit to compensate. I used an online geometry calculator to try and work it all out. Fork up 10mm and head angle down 2 degrees kept most of the other geometry components the same.
  • 1 0
 Add 10 mm between the fork and the headset too. The bottom cup on the Slackr adds 10 mm below the bottom of the head tube. See their website. @fielonator:
  • 9 0
 $200.00 pants and $400.00 jackets you have to wear your elbow and knee pads on the outside to protect your investment.
  • 13 4
 Can we PLEASE just go back to Schrader valves???
  • 7 1
 Get these: www.joes-no-flats.com/Products/891/Valve-Converter

Cannot recommend strongly enough. Sam Hill and few other DH / Enduro pros have been running similar for many years.
  • 2 0
 @Linc: Woaaaaaah wish I'd known that existed before drilling my rims! Lol not that it was much of a hassle, but that sure looks like a nice product
  • 2 0
 @Linc: That's interesting... they need to hurry up and get that on the market at a decent price and not try to rape our wallets like Reserve.
  • 2 0
 @Linc: woah, that’s pretty amazing! Only problem is now I’d have to find a Schrader micro pump and CO2 filler head to replace what I’ve got.
  • 1 0
 @Chuckolicious: most micropumps support both presta and schrader. check manual for your existing pump. And I think there is an adapter for CO2 cartridges as well.
  • 8 3
 I want to see those dudes that drink too many IPA's & show up late to the group ride still sweating squeezed into the Rapha's to get a better idea of real world sizing. #chonk
  • 2 0
 Ba ha ha ha ha ha ha... Smile
  • 7 0
 I can never line my stem up. What chance do I have with the angle kit??
  • 3 0
 That is by far the "hardest" part of the install, but the product Slack-R works great.
  • 3 0
 Valves look nice until I rip another 2-ply tire with this valve installed and have to throw a tube in like last ride in the mountains, especially if wrench required to remove. No thanks for me based soley on that, otherwise looks good. My presta valves definitely do clog at times. Little cleaning helps whenever replacing tires though.
  • 2 0
 @jgusta: if that happens, no wrench required, just remove the Fillmore and stick your tube in. The very same thing you would do with any old tubeless Presta valve. Cake.
  • 1 0
 @advocate:
Excellent, good to know! Presta does suck with tubeless.
  • 7 3
 "in the realm of fiveten and specialized" my latches are no where near Freeriders or my 2FO Roosts
  • 6 0
 I should clarify - the 2FOs and Freeriders are stickier, but the new tread and rubber on the Latches is much, much better than the Vibram Megagrip that was used before. So far I’ve been very pleased by the level of grip that they provide, and I'd consider myself pretty picky when it comes to how secure my feet feel on the pedals.
  • 6 0
 @mikekazimer: so, still not enough?
  • 1 1
 I don't understand the Giro bashing. I own some Freeriders as well as the Riddance Mids. I never wear the Freeriders. The Giros have a much nicer feeling of security being a mid, they fit better, are reasonably water resistant and they also stop me bashing my ankle on the cranks, all things the 5/10s lack. The only time I've ever had an issue with grip was when I switched pedals to Hope F20's from Nukeproof Horizons. I did 1 ride where I struggled several times to keep my feet on the pedals, but after switching back to a pair of Nukeproof Horizons this stopped immediately. I can only assume the bad review of the Riddance was down to the pedals used in testing. I rode a wet and rowdy Dyfi bike park last week and never once had an issue with my foot coming off the pedal.
  • 7 3
 do this many people ride flats? i feel like there's a new shoe every 3 weeks.
  • 14 1
 Yes. Ever since the first FiveTens came out, platforms have become much more competitive with clipless. I know more people that have gone from years in clipless to riding flats than I know people that have switched to clipless from flats in the last couple of years in particular.
  • 3 0
 @bigwheels87: flats for winter here, my feet stay much warmer.
  • 7 0
 @big-red: I’m one. 20 years on clipless (barring a short stint on flats in the early 2000s) and now riding flats since 2016. Sticky rubber did it

Anyone who rode bmx pedals and vans back then has scars on their shins and traumatic memories. It was flat out scary (pardon the pun), especially in the wet. With 5/10s and modern flats this problem simply went away
  • 2 0
 @bravefart: I still have shin tattoos with new shoes and pedals, but I won't go back to clips. Rode clips for decades on my MTB but only use them on the road now.
  • 1 0
 flats for fun and trainings, clipless for everything else.
  • 2 0
 I saw the picture of the shoes on the home page and thought interesting - are the they the new Giant ones that are going to cost 59.99... sadly not, they are actually 150! Ha!
  • 4 0
 9.8 SlackR -1.7 has been great on my Trek Rail. Turned it into a very competent self contained shuttle/dh machine.
  • 4 0
 Anyone use that angle set to fix an ovalized IS steerer tube?
  • 2 0
 Probably not but worth a shot for 100 in my opinion. I think it is likely to rotate within the frame.
  • 4 1
 You could do that with some 609 retaining compound. would be rather permanent though
  • 2 0
 Praxis BB's work sort of similar to this design, and use Loctite Superflex Clear RTV
as part of the installation into the carbon shell.
Might help to tighten it up, without being as permanent as @BrackishCycles 609 Retaining compound...probably not as effective either Smile
  • 2 0
 I was wondering if that headset can be used in the event of a Specialized enduro cracking around the bearing seats as they have a tendency to do.
  • 2 0
 I wish I could use it to fix DUB bottom brackets, but alas, it's only for steer tubes.
  • 5 0
 @noapathy: My DUB BB has been fit and forget. You fit it, and then you can forget about ever getting the crank bolt out.
  • 4 0
 The Giro freeride pros look pretty nice
  • 5 5
 If you have carbon rims and can't / don't dare to drill out for Schrader valves, use these, they work!

www.ride-air.com/products/convertair?variant=31335951597641

As long as you have fully (or sufficiently) threaded Presta stems, remove existing Presta core, and screw this on top. DONE!
  • 3 3
 Mate, game changer! They look amazing. Are you using them?
  • 3 3
 Why is this not on news? Brilliant!
  • 4 2
 These have been around for a while and give you a different problem - none of the thread-on presta pumps will work…
  • 1 1
 How does this compare to the old brass ones that you leave the core in?
  • 1 0
 Sweet, worth trrying...
  • 1 0
 @fabwizard: It's different because you remove the Presta core and discard it. This adapter has a true Schrader valve in it.
  • 1 0
 @Wheelndeal: Correct, and not only that, you best make sure your CO2 chuck is Schrader compatible. Topeak makes a good dual Presta/Schrader chuck if one wanted to modify a pump they already have.
  • 1 0
 @brisbike: They work good, but it won't solve every problem. The core itself won't clog, but you can still get a clog at the base of the stem where it enters the rim.
  • 1 0
 @krka73: Very good point! The cores will clog with sealant too. They're micro like the Presta
  • 4 0
 You had me at “fancy pants”.
  • 1 0
 I'll just wait for a chinese version of the fillmore valve that would cost like $10... for now my $15 tubeless valves with 5 spare valve cores does the trick at half the price
  • 3 1
 I ditched my worn out 5/10 freerider shoes for those Giro Latch shoes and couldn't be happier.
  • 3 0
 How's the fit compared to freerider? I like the width of freeriders.
  • 2 0
 @ryan77777: Maybe a tiny bit narrower but very similar fit. Comfortable right from day one. Fast, slow, jumps, climbing and rocky tech stuff has been all good.
  • 3 2
 I see no value in spending money on something that really doesn't increase or marginally increases my performance...like expensive pants
  • 1 2
 Am I the only one who thinks the "stickiness" of flat pedal shoes is over-rated?

If I wanted to be attached to the pedals, I'd ride clips. Nice thing about this is that I could probably wear a pair of clipped shoes for a decade. There isn't much to wear out.

Flat pedal shoes should balance pedal grip against sole wear. My Giro Jackets lasted 5 years. Pretty good. I've heard people saying that some 5.10 shoes might only last a season or two. Yikes, for what? $150?

If we're gonna get yanked $150, I want some measurable improvement in the durability of the soles. All my other $150 shoes last for years. If MTB flat pedals shoes are going to be designed as a consumable, then they should be priced like it.
  • 2 0
 That cap on the Fillmore is legit! Anyone else have arthritis in their fingertips from the micro Presta nut?
  • 2 0
 Those shoes look like they were 3D printed.
  • 2 0
 flat pedal shoes, also known as... shoes.
  • 1 0
 Those Giro shoes look pretty convincing. If they last longer than FiveTens, I'm sold.
  • 6 6
 this is all so laughable. but its a great way to start the day with a laugh
  • 2 2
 Cool, more plastic shoes, overpriced products and yet another angle headset that does not work with most modern bikes.
  • 4 0
 Might I suggest that you do something wise with your time besides browsing Pinkbike?
  • 1 0
 @hllclmbr: THAT was funny...
  • 1 0
 Is regurgitating the previous weeks press releases a thing now?
  • 1 0
 It gives us a chance for one more smart arse comment before we never see these products again... Totally worth it!!
  • 1 0
 Dat PRICE? Psh.

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